Vietnam’s digital transformation – banking apps used by more than 30% of the population

In Vietnam, banking apps are utilized by over 30% of the population, marking a significant digital transformation in the country’s financial sector. This puts Vietnam as second in app usage behind China. With a substantial investment in digital transformation by Vietnamese banks, the majority of banking transactions are now conducted digitally. The government aims to enhance financial inclusion for 80% of adults by 2025. Yet, challenges persist in the legal framework and human resource shortages, requiring attention for further progress.

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The use of digital products in Vietnam has become more widespread than ever by the words of Vũ Viết Ngoạn, the former chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission. Talking at the Financial Services – Retail Banking Forum in HCM City, Ngoạn stated that, banking apps are used by more than 30% of the population, making Vietnam second only to China (41%) in app usage.

The trend is increasing in various platforms, such as online marketplaces, small convenience stores, and fruit and vegetable vendors.

A report by the SBV states that the banking sector invested more than VNĐ15 trillion (US$639.22 million) in digital transformation by the end of last year. Over 95% of Vietnamese banks have a strategy for digital transformation, and around 90% of banking transactions are being done through digital channels. Furthermore, there are more than 3.71 million mobile money accounts opened, with a noticeable increase in non-cash payments. The government aims to achieve financial inclusion of more than 80% of the adult population by 2025.

However, experts warn that the current legal framework for digital financial services is insufficient. Improving institutional frameworks and infrastructure for digital transformation and addressing the challenge of a shortage of skilled human resources are important steps forward.